Nepal: Govt to review UNMIN's role before term extension; names GPK for Nobel Peace

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The government will make a thorough review of the role and work of United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) before deciding on its term extension.

A cabinet meeting held at Singha Durbar Thursday morning reached a decision to this effect.

Informing about the cabinet decisions to media-persons after the meeting, government spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communication Shanker Pokharel said that the government will ask the Security Council for a maximum four-month stay for the UN body after reviewing its work.

He did not say whether UNMIN will be given the same mandate as the current one or it would be much reduced.

The term and mandate of UNMIN, which has been monitoring arms and armed personnel of Nepal Army and former Maoist combatants since Jan. 23, 2007, is expiring on Jan. 23, 2010.

UNMIN's term has already been renewed four times.

The cabinet decision comes a day after the ten ruling parties recommended term extension for UNMIN.

The meeting that went on for nearly two hours also decided to recommend former prime minister and Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize to be conferred next year.

Similarly, the cabinet has also decided to form a probe committee to investigate into the case of rape victim policewoman Suntali Dhami and give Rs 3,00,000 as compensation and medical expenses to Rukum-based journalist Tika Bista, who was assaulted and seriously injured by what Federation of Nepalese Journalists claims to be Maoist-aligned YCL cadres. The government has also decided to find the culprits involved in the case and take stringent action against them.

The cabinet also decided to bear the expenses of 15 of the 36 member delegation who will be accompanying Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal during his China visit beginning Dec.26.

In the same way, a five member expert team has also been formed under National Planning Commission vice-chairman Yuvaraj Khatiwada to monitor the effect of the economic recession that is setting in the country.